Washington, June 22 (ANI): Nanotechnology researchers have successfully extended the operating life of an unsealed plastic solar cell, from mere hours to eight months.
The team of researchers from the University of Alberta and the National Institute for Nanotechnology had developed an inexpensive, readily available plastic solar cell technology.
But their advance hit a wall because of a chemical leeching problem within the body of the prototype.
A chemical coating on an electrode was unstable and migrated through the circuitry of the cell.
The team led by David Rider, developed a longer lasting, polymer coating for the electrode.
Electrodes are key to the goal of a solar energy technology, extracting electricity from the cell.
Prior to the polymer coating breakthrough, the research team's plastic solar cell could only operate at high capacity for about ten hours.
The plastic solar cell first managed to perform at high capacity for 500 hours, but it kept on working for another seven months.
The team has said that the unit eventually stopped working when it was damaged during transit between laboratories.
The study is published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. (ANI)